A helicopter yesterday airlifted a third survivor from the capsized hulk of a luxury cruise ship 36 hours after it ran aground off the Italian coast, as prosecutors said they were investigating the captain for manslaughter charges and accused him of abandoning his ship.
Authorities reduced to 17 from 40 the number of people still unaccounted for, with an Italian who worked in cabin service pulled from the wreckage of the Costa Concordia off the tiny Tuscan island of Grigio.
Late on Saturday, a South Korean couple on their honeymoon were rescued when firefighters in the unsubmerged part of the ship heard their screams.
Three people are confirmed dead after the huge cruise ship carrying more than 4,200 people ran aground on Friday night.
Police divers and rescue crews yesterday circled around the wreckage of the ship off the coast of the island of Giglio. Crews in dinghies were touching the hull with their hands, near the site of the 50m-long gash where water flooded in and caused the ship to fall on its side.
Coast guard officials have said divers would try to enter the belly of the ship in case anyone is still inside.
Coast guard spokesman Captain Filippo Marini told Sky Italia TV that coast guard divers have recovered the so-called “black box” with the recording of the navigational details from a compartment now under water.
Late on Saturday, firefighters who had been searching the Costa Concordia for those who remain missing heard distinct shouts, “one in a male voice, the other in a female voice” coming from the liner, coast guard officer Marcello Fertitta said.
They turned out to be a honeymooning South Korean couple, who were brought out in good condition, Prato fire Commander Vincenzo Bennardo said from the scene..
The terrifying, chaotic escape from the luxury liner was straight out of a scene from Titanic for many of the 4,000-plus passengers and crew on the ship, which ran aground off the Italian coast late on Friday and flipped on its side.
Many passengers complained that the crew didn’t give them good directions on how to evacuate and once the emergency became clear, delayed lowering the lifeboats until the ship was listing too heavily for many to be released.